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Archive for ‘Technology’

This Week’s Biotech Highlights

Having taken Labour Day off, I present a double edition of biotech highlights:

Double Money:

Double Caution:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology: Internet

Canadian Election Controversy, Served 3 Ways

When I got back from vacation just over a week ago I discovered there was an elephant in the room: a possible looming federal election that no one really wanted to discuss. Except, perhaps, the media. We’ve even avoided discussing it here on Slaw for whatever reason (are we just too polite to talk politics in public? How very Canadian). In the meantime we have a lovely trio of election-related controversies from which to sample: . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Miscellaneous, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology

Just Because You’re on Social Media Doesn’t Mean a Licence to Be Unprofessional

That’s the message from an interesting piece in yesterday’s NYT entitled A Legal Battle: Online Attitude vs. Rules of the Bar .

Short extract suggests more issues in the future:

Stephen Gillers, an expert on legal ethics at New York University Law School, sees many more missteps in the future, as young people who grew up with Facebook and other social media enter a profession governed by centuries of legal tradition.

“Twenty-somethings have a much-reduced sense of personal privacy,” Professor Gillers said. Younger lawyers are, predictably, more comfortable with the media than their older colleagues, according to a recent survey

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology, Technology: Internet

Norwich Order Applied to Gmail Account

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice released its decision on an application in York University v. Bell Canada Enterprises this Friday. The case is based on an allegedly defamatory e-mail about the President of York University, Mamdouh Shoukri, saying he had “perpetrated an outrageous fraud.”

A group calling itself “York Faculty Concerned About the Future of York University” protested the appointment of Martin Singer of the new Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, questioning his credentials and attaching a letter from other academics who did disclose their names.

But the University is more interested in the identity of . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology: Internet

Web 3.0 and the Law

The semantic web is coming. The fact that it’s been heralded more often than “the wolf,” shouldn’t deafen us to the the essential truth: slowly but surely Web 3.0, the semantic web is arriving. After all, the wolf did actually show up, as I recall.

What is it? And why should lawyers care? There are two typical answers to the second question, as is usually the case when technology is the subject: lawyers should care first because the change will (eventually) alter the way in which they research, prepare and present documents, and second because as the technology goes mainstream . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology

Privacy Fail: Anonymization

Data about individuals can be a valuable resource. Organizations holding personal information often aggregate or anonymize that data in order to gain valuable information on various trends. From a privacy perspective, that’s perfectly acceptable, as individuals can no longer be identified. Or can they?

The caveat is that is has been known for some time that it is not as easy to anonymize individual data as one might think. Reidentification of individuals by comparing anonymized data to other sources of data has been surprisingly easy in some cases.

Slashdot points to an ars technica article that talks about a paper . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law, Technology

Whelan on Cost-Effective Legal Research

The August 2009 issue [pdf] of the Ontario Bar Association’s magazine Briefly Speaking/EnBref has an article by David Whelan, Manager, Legal Information for the Law Society of Upper Canada on using free and inexpensive legal research tools called “Right Size Your Research”–see pages 24 and 25 [pdf]. I like that he emphasizes texts as a starting point, and of course endorses use of law libraries as a helpful resource. This is a nice round-up of resources for those looking to economize, especially for legal researchers who do not already have flat rate subscriptions to major online legal research . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology

Is It Too Late for Opera?

If I had to guess, I think that most Slaw readers use Mozilla Firefox as their primary personal browser, even if their workplaces may well mandate Internet Explorer as the browser on their work desktop. Three years back Simon (the other) reminded us of the benefits of an old favourite Opera – which I recall was my own browser of choice a long time back, when Netscape finally gave up the ghost. . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

New E-Reader Planned

Thus far I’ve successfully resisted the charms of Kindles 1 and 2, such as they are, and of the Sony Reader as well. Though I’m someone who reads a whole lot of text on a screen, I’m still a committed bookist when it comes to, well, books.

It is possible that the promised Eee Reader from Asus might be a game changer for me. For one thing, as with the netbook that the Taiwan company launched, this device would be cheap — perhaps $200, according to reports. Then, as you can see from the image, which is an imagined . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading, Technology

U.S. Law Librarians’ Changing Scene

There’s an interesting article today on about what impact the recession is having on the situation of law librarians in the United States. “Law Librarians: ‘No More Sacred Cows’” by Alan Cohen is based on the 2009 American Lawyer survey of law librarians. To see the actual findings of the full survey you’ll have to be a subscriber, but Cohen hits the high spots for you.

    Library budgets have shrunk in 46% of cases, compared to 9% in 2008 / The expectation from the firms is that every resource must show a decent ROI. / New software

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology

Beware if Using Ctrl+F to Search Websites for Keywords in Internet Explorer

I hate being reminded of the fallibility of technology. I love the confidence I feel from noting up a case using an electronic database; I hate it when I find that (contrary to the results of my electronic search) the case has in fact been overturned on appeal. I recently experienced a similar feeling when using the federal government’s laws website

Perhaps I’m spoiled by the ability in electronic database programs like QuickLaw and WestLaw to step from “hit” to “hit” in my search results. Or maybe I’m just lazy. When I am looking for something on a webpage . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Technology